Sep 26, 2008

Debate! Debate! 5

Onto Iran:

McCain first. Iran with nuclear weapons is a threat to Israel... "We cannot allow a second Holocaust." He brings up his League of Democracies proposal - "We could impose significant, meaningful, painful sanctions" that will affect Iranian behavior. In addition to nuclear, McCain says they are bringing in the most lethal IEDs into Iraq.

Obama says the war in Iraq is the single biggest reason Iran has become an immediate threat in the region. Says it's attempt to acquire nuclear weapons has accelerated since we invaded. Agrees we need tougher sanctions but also need to work with China and Russia - which aren't democracies. Also says we need to engage in tougher diplomacy with Iran.

No surprise that McCain rips into Obama, saying he would talk with nuts like Ahmadinejad and bring them legitimacy. References Reagan and says preconditions must be met... No surprise, Obama says Kissinger supports his ideas, says it is not like you'd be inviting over for tea. Uses North Korea as an example of where not talking does not work. Brings up McCain's weird assertion that he wouldn't meet with Spanish prime minister.

Back and forth and back and forth on what preconditions mean. McCain calls Obama's approach dangerous and naive. Obama says it's a nuanced way to engage our enemies that works better than simply isolating them.

Onto Russia:

Obama says we should offer some promise of NATO membership for Georgia and Ukraine, but don't isolate because we have to deal with the potential for nuclear weapons falling into the wrong hands.

McCain once again calls Obama naive. Calls Russia a KGB-run government. Gets very fixated on Georgia, talks about the energy pipeline that plays a big role in the showdown there.

Obama links Russia's resurgence to America's use of oil and then hits McCain for not doing enough to get us off oil over the last 26 years.

Final question, what's the chance of another 9/11:

McCain: We're safer than we were but not safe enough. Brings up his support of a 9/11 commission. Announces his opposition to torture. Says he knows our allies better and will do a better job working with them. Oh, and border protection!

We are safer in some ways but we have a long way to go. The biggest threat to the U.S. is a terrorist getting their hands on a nuclear weapon, making nuclear proliferation a major issue. We have to refocus on al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Restore America's standing in the world - we are lest respected now than 8 years ago.

McCain - Obama still doesn't understand. Withdrawal from Iraq will lead us to defeat and offer al Qaeda a training ground. "That is the central issue of our time."

Obama - McCain and this administration have been solely focused on Iraq. Meantime, al Qaeda resurgent and we're borrowing billions from an increasingly influential China. Iraq has handcuffed our foreign policy and damaged our economy.

McCain - Obama is not ready to lead and has made major errors in judgment, including in his response to Russian aggression in Georgia (huh?).

Obama - kids around the world don't see us like they used to (huh?). Point of course is that our standing in the world matters.

And done.

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